GM Racing sharpens focus on 2002

WARREN, Mich., Oct. 7, 2001 - With General Motors' sharpening focus on five major North American racing programs, GM Racing management assignments for the 2002 racing season have been revised to provide more balance of responsibilities among the...

WARREN, Mich., Oct. 7, 2001 - With General Motors' sharpening focus on five major North American racing programs, GM Racing management assignments for the 2002 racing season have been revised to provide more balance of responsibilities among the organization's four group managers.

Herb Fishel, executive director of GM Racing, said that a key move for 2002 is placing the Cadillac Northstar LMP international sports car endurance racing program under the supervision of Doug Duchardt, who is also responsible for GM's NASCAR Winston Cup program featuring the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix.

Joe Negri, previously responsible for three of the five major programs, will retain and focus on the Chevrolet Indy V8 engine program in the Indy Racing League and the Corvette C5-R international sports car endurance racing program, according to Fishel.

Harry Turner remains group manager for drag racing, and will have added responsibilities with a major new drag racing initiative, details of which will be announced at a later date.

Don Taylor remains group manager for racing safety, product innovation and new business.

"GM's focus on five major racing programs that require substantial engineering and program management resources increases the importance of having responsibilities divided equitably among GM Racing's group managers," said Fishel. "Doug Duchardt has shown by his successful management of our Chevrolet and Pontiac NASCAR activities that he has the ability to manage multiple programs.

"Joe Negri has done a phenomenal job of managing three of the five major programs to date," said Fishel. "But with more manufacturer competition and engine development work in the IRL, it became obvious that there was a need to provide Joe with more time to focus on the increasingly competitive IRL program."

Under GM Racing management, General Motors this year became the first auto manufacturer to win in a single season the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Corvette C5-R in GTS), 24 Hours of Daytona (Corvette C5-R overall), Indianapolis 500 (Oldsmobile Aurora V8 engine), Daytona 500 (Chevrolet Monte Carlo) and NHRA U.S. Nationals top Pro drag racing classes (Pontiac Firebird in Funny Car and Pro Stock and Chevy S-10 in Pro Stock Truck).

While the Cadillac Northstar LMP and Chevrolet Corvette C5-R racing programs at Le Mans and in the American Le Mans Series represent GM Racing's first full-scale global racing efforts, GM's racing specialists are responsible for winning results in many North American racing events that are recognized internationally. Recent examples include:

The 2001 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona with the Corvette C5-R; the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring with the Aurora V8 engine; five straight Indianapolis 500s with the Oldsmobile Aurora V8 (1997-2001) and six straight with the Chevrolet Indy V8 engine (1988-93); 10 of the last 13 Daytona 500s (1989-91, 1993-95, 1997-99 and 2001) with the Chevy Monte Carlo and Lumina; three straight and four of five Baja 1000s with the Chevy C/K and Silverado trucks (1995-97 and 1999); and dozens of class victories in the 1990s at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb with a variety of GM products.

GM Racing provides engineering, program management and marketing expertise to General Motors' brand racing programs in North America. Technical projects are managed in-house with GM Racing engineers working together with GM production engineers, as well as externally with international auto racing suppliers working to GM Racing specifications. Group, program and marketing managers are responsible for integrating all engineering and non-technical aspects of GM's racing programs.

More than 400 years of racing engineering and support experience are represented by GM Racing's nearly three dozen technical and management specialists in areas ranging from the design and development of racing engines and chassis to high-speed aerodynamics and advanced electronics to racing safety studies. GM Racing was formed in October 1991, as the GM Motorsports Technology Group (also known as GM Motorsports) when racing specialists from the Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac Divisions were merged into a single corporate group.

-GM Racing-

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